Love found and love lost
“I’m surprised with all the deities in the world no-one thought to specialise in medicine”
Arke commented in an effort to lighten the mood. She had wound gauze around Rhea’s ankle and was now working on her wrist. Since their escape the queen’s ankle had already begun to swell and red marks were becoming more noticeable around her neck.
Arke had taken the queen to a spacious cave on an island she and Iris had lived in as children. The cave was bare apart from a few leaks and some logs they used as benches. The storm had not made it easy to travel. Despite that, Rhea had been silent the entire trip. She remained stoic when they arrived and didn’t even wince as Arke tended to her wounds. The queen despondently looked out of the cave entrance where the howling winds and rain raged on. Arke’s gaze flicked to the queen with concern as she tied the last of the gauze into a sling. She stood back to inspect her work, her long slate grey wings dragging lightly on cave floor behind her.
“This isn’t the way you should see your queen”
Arke barely heard Rhea’s whisper and continued her care.
“If you don’t move on it too much the ankle should heal. Your neck bruises should fade over time. Your wrist is going to need more serious attention though. I’m not an expert but we can try our best”
She continued in an attempt to console the queen. Rhea could only close her eyes against her shame. Arke picked up a length of cream fabric and draped it around Rhea’s shoulders.
“You got wet on the way here, this should help keep off the cold”
“You and Iris didn’t need to go to such lengths. I thank you for saving me but if the two of you want to protect yourselves, you can flee now.”
Rhea said quietly. Watching her queen in this state, Arke questioned what she knew about the world they lived in. It was evident this wasn’t the first incident, how had she and Iris not noticed before?
“You are our queen and we are your personal retainers. It’s our duty”
“It’s not worth it. My only worth is this child”
Rhea gently caressed her belly. Arke was still trying to fathom the extent of a charade Cronus and Rhea’s union had been. Since she was a girl she had watched the glory of the golden age unfold under their rule. This quivering woman covered in bruises was alien to Arke, a far cry from the confident and grounding force she had known.
She still remembered when she and Iris were children, struggling alone as they followed their mother across the oceans. Rhea had found them and had taken them in. When she had grown up it had been a privilege for Arke to devote her life to the service of the only mother figure she ever knew. The queen had protected them and made them happy during a dark time Arke thought would never end. Her precious sister, Iris, had been able to grow up happy and she owed everything to Rhea for that.
“That’s not true, you have one of the kindest hearts I know”
Arke said, taking a seat next to Rhea. The queen winced her kindness. Her husband’s words still echoed in her ears, when they found out what she had done they would not be so full of care and complements.
“When will Iris be back?”
Rhea said, attempting to deflect the topic.
“The weather will hold her up a while but she should have the messages to your sisters by now.”
Arke consoled, brushing her brown hair behind one ear. A streak of lightening illuminated the cave, echoing with a thunderous roar.
“I’m still not sure why the two of you have insisted on this, it won’t improve anything”
“Trust us my Queen. You need your family now more than ever. You need someone else to depend on this time.”
“What happened to the small girl I found on the beach?”
Rhea whispered leaning her head into Arke’s arm.
“You took her in and made her better. Now it’s our turn.”
Rhea smiled slightly at Arke’s reply. Despite her retainer’s kind words, Rhea still dreaded her sister’s arrival.
Astraea had been carrying me for a while now. It wasn’t long after we left the meadow the storm had reached us. The black clouds were so thick that if I held my arm out I wouldn’t be able to see my hand. Every time it thundered I could feel the vibration in the air. For all the cold and noise, it was the intense look of concentration on Astraea’s face that made me uneasy.
“It isn’t much further is it?”
I shouted through the howling wind, but Astraea didn’t respond. I hoped that, wherever we were going, we arrived in one piece. I yelped when my feet were dangling in the air as Astraea adjusted our position and lowered me to the ground.
“Sorry I didn’t expect a storm, let’s get inside quickly.”
Astraea apologised. We were on a flat platform in front of a set of gates, I marvelled at the height. They were at least twice as high as my elm. The gates opened for us and we started up the large flight of steps behind it. The walls blocked the worst of the wind but I had to be careful not to slip on the wet steps. I had to stop to catch my breath when we got to the top, no wonder Astraea had wings if this was where she lived.
When I had caught my breath, I followed Astraea through some pillars arranged in a square. The wind whistled between them like a large instrument, I wondered if that was what they were here for. Beyond them was an expanse of trees. Even in the dimness of the storm, I could see this was different to the forest at home. Lacking in diversity, each tree was large and conical with spines instead of leaves. It was difficult to appreciate the pale greenery compared to the vibrant colours of the forest back at the meadow.
“Where is this?”
I asked confused, trying to look through the dense expanse of trees. At home the forest was much more inviting, allowing passage anywhere along its edge. Here the forest was far more unwelcoming, only a few small paths snaked their way past its border.
“My grandfather’s home”
Before now, I had never thought of where Astraea went when she left the meadow. I had assumed they lived in nature like we did, but from the large entrance it was clear to me this wasn’t the case. Astraea started a brusque pace down one of the thin path ways. The heavy rain had made the path muddy and the shadow cast by trees made navigation difficult. I almost bumped into Astraea when she suddenly stopped, listening out for something.
“Get to the side of the path quickly and hold on to me as hard as you can”
Astraea’s urgent tone scared me. Before I could ask, she pressed me against a nearby tree trunk with her wings outstretched. I was about to ask why when a low drone began to reverberate down the path. I quickly wrapped my arms around her waist. What Astraea had heard was coming. Strong waves of wind pulled at us. If I wasn’t holding on I was sure I would have been blown off the mountain. The wind intensified as a blur of figures sped past, I thought I saw a flash of purple wings but they were gone before I could see anymore. Once they had left us behind the wind died down. I went to move back out when Astraea put her arm in front of me. The low hum from before intensified into a high-pitched drone that squealed along the path as a blur of five more figures raced past, covering Astraea’s back and wings in mud. When they were gone Astraea lowered her arm. She groaned in annoyance as she attempted wiping off the mud.
“This was new and it’s going to take ages to get the mud out of my feathers. I’m going to kill them if grandmother doesn’t get to them first.”
Astraea moaned. She shook off her wings, flinging mud around her. Luckily, I had been shielded from the worst of it.
“What was that?”
“My older brothers, who need to learn a lesson in following the rules.”
I just stared back at Astraea blankly.
“My grandparents are very strict about not flying within the walls. They love weather like this. It covers up the sound of them racing”
Astraea explained, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. As someone who was stuck to the ground I just nodded, still not really sure of what had passed us. I was lost in my thoughts, thinking of what it must be like to fly, when we reached the palace. I couldn’t believe my eyes, there was no doubt the titans did not live in nature like the rest of us. The main building was large and rectangular, made of the same beautiful stone as the gates. The entrance had two ornate pillars on each side, carved with waves and constellations. I followed Astraea through the main entrance and into a large semi-circular foyer. Two staircases wound gracefully up the curved walls, leading to the upper corridors. The room was ringed with more pillars and I was surprised to find, weaving between them, many mortals carrying pieces of furniture and lengths of fabric. They hurried about their tasks. I was taken aback by their sense of purpose.
“Who are these people?”
I asked eagerly.
“They help out in the palace. Even a titan can’t manage a household this large on their own. Do you remember the square of pillars earlier?”
“It is usually used as a meeting hall where Krios and Eurybia entertain guests. But all the furniture and other decorations from outer buildings need to be moved inside. We can’t move it all on our own so the mortals who live in the palace help out.”
We made our way through the crowd of busy people when Astraea stopped a passing woman holding a stack of platters.
“Chara, could you tell me where I can find grandmother?”
“Mistress Eurybia is just up the left stairs”
“A pleasure, my lady”
Chara bowed to Astraea and hurried past. I continued to stare after her when Astraea took my hand and led me out of the main entrance. We went up the stairs and into a less busy corridor. It wasn’t difficult to know who Astraea was looking for. A tall, black haired woman in a midnight blue chiton stood in one of the doorways. It wasn’t just her appearance that set her apart. The gravity of her presence hinted to her power and authority.
“No just a little to the left. That’s it”
She instructed. Astraea cleared her throat, when Eurybia noticed the two of us she smiled at me broadly.
Eurybia exclaimed. Before I could protest, she came over and lifted me into a hug. I froze in her grip and looked to Astraea, who was just as confused. Eventually, Eurybia became suspicious and put me down.
“I haven’t seen you in such a long time. Are you alright? You seem..... Off”
“This is the mortal I was telling you about grandmother. This is Callidora”
I didn’t like the look Eurybia gave me ss Astraea introduced me, as if I was an oddity on display. I could quickly feel a wall of seriousness build up in her eyes.
“I...see, I apologise there a striking resemblance. Why are the two of you here?”
“Callidora was feeling restless so I thought I would show her the palace. I was hoping you could talk to her about how some of the mortals help around here”
She lifted an eyebrow at Astraea’s explanation.
“As you can see I am busy at the moment. But you are welcome to………….”
A woman’s scream echoed down the corridor, followed by the sound of platters crashing to the floor. A familiar low drone began to vibrate down the corridor. Before I could put my hands over my ears Astraea pinned me to the wall, using herself to shield me against the wind. Over her shoulder I saw Eurybia firmly planted in the middle of the corridor. The angry look on her face made the hairs on my neck stand on end. When four winged figures sped past her she barely flinched, the wind billowing her dark chiton around her. Then as five more approached she grabbed the ankle of one of them, as if she were plucking a fallen leaf from the air. He exclaimed a high-pitched yelp and fell, very ungracefully, face first onto the floor.
“Eosphoros! What have your grandfather and I told the lot of you about flying in the palace!!”
Eurybia scolded. The man stayed face-planted on the ground, I wouldn’t blame him either. Although his position was mostly due to the fact the Eurybia still had his ankle in her hand.
“Technically it’s levitating. Boreas, Zephyrus, Notus, and Eurus are the ones who fly”
He protested, speaking into the floor. Eurybia huffed and dropped, or rather threw, Eosphoros’ ankle back to the ground.
“Don’t be pedantic, we told the lot of you it causes too much havoc.”
“Then why is it just me getting familiar with the floor?”
Eosphoros remarked, getting up and dusting off his dark purple chiton. One look from Eurybia was enough to silence him.
“Despite being the youngest, we chose you to lead of the Astra Planeta. I expect you to show the maturity your position demands. Besides shouldn’t the five of you be working with Krios tonight?”
“He was called away on an urgent meeting with the King. He didn’t say what it was for.”
“And you and your brothers thought it was more productive to play your childish games than help prepare for the storm?”
Eurybia crossed her arms and stared him down. Eosphoros remained silent and kept his gaze on the floor, his ego clearly deflated. Before she could continue, a woman with rainbow coloured wings glided onto the window frame. She was soaked by the rain, her light brown hair stuck to her face and back. The multitude of rings and bangles she wore jingled softly when she moved.
“Sorry to disturb you but I have an urgent message from Queen Rhea”
“Hello Iris. What is it?”
“The Queen explicitly told me it was just for you. If we could speak in private?”
Iris looked to me, Astraea, and Eosphoros in turn. I wondered why she had to be so secretive. Eurybia was serious again.
“Very well. Come with me. Eosphoros, you clearly need something to occupy you. Callidora would like a tour of the palace. Astraea, I want you to come with me. It appears we have something to discuss.”
Eurybia commanded. I was slightly insulted that I could be dismissed so easily, plus the look on Eosphoros’ face wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. He had already begun to protest.
“I don’t want to hear it Eosphoros. Think of it as an opportunity to do something productive. That doesn’t involve causing chaos.”
Eurybia didn’t acknowledge me as she lead Iris, who hopped neatly from the window frame, away. Astraea looked at me reassuringly before following behind, leaving Eosphoros and I alone. I was disappointed that the questions I thought would be answered were now ignored. I had no desire to spend time with a stranger who didn’t think I was worth their time.
“I can just stay here and wait for Astraea if you want……”
My voice faltered before I could finish my sentence. Eosphoros looked at me for the first time and something in his expression changed.
“Sorry. I can’t ignore direct orders. You don’t want to see my grandmother when she’s truly angry. I don’t know if you noticed but she can be very intimidating when she wants to be”
He smiled at me and winked. I looked back into his eyes and noticed they were a charming hazel. The idea of him showing me around the palace was suddenly good, very good.
I replied as he stepped closer.
“But it depends, we could do some tedious introductions or I could show you something that is much more exciting”
He whispered. I was very aware of how close he was and felt my heart beat faster. I could hear his breathing and smell the earthy scent of mud and rain from outside. I let him lead me into the next room. There were cushions and fabrics draped across divans that had been rescued from the rain. Some mortals were still lingering, making sure everything stayed in place.
“Everyone, Grandmother needs you to be moving some things outside, she will give you further instructions when you get there”
Upon Eosphoros’ instruction, the mortals bowed their heads and left the room in single file. In other circumstances I would have found their obedience unsettling.
“What did you do that for?”
“Don’t waste time asking questions. Grab some cushions before they return.”
Eosphoros grinned as he lifted a divan over his shoulder. He had already made his way into the corridor when I grabbed the cushions closest to me and hurried after him. I followed him through a multitude of corridors and stairs until we emerged out onto the roof.
“Perfect. The sky has cleared.”
He said, setting the divan down and adjusting its position until he was satisfied. Now that the storm had abated I could see out onto the entire landscape within the wall. I circled around to take in the entire scene of trees and buildings. The wall bordered the entire landscape in every direction, occasionally obscured by a few buildings dotted within the dense forest.
“What if it was still raining?”
I asked. Eosphoros grinned again, his hazel eyes glinting through the black locks of his hair.
“Then I’m in trouble with grandmother again”
He took the cushions from me and arranged them on the divan. He stood behind me as I continued to look out on the titan’s home. The expanse of pine and rock formations had its own natural beauty from above, that I hadn’t seen from the ground. The feeling of the height, of being above the ground was the closest I would probably ever feel to flying.
“Your home breath-taking”
I said in awe.
“Thank you. It was grandmother who insisted that the inside of the citadel remain natural. You see that tower there?”
Eosphoros said as he bent forward, his face hovering over my shoulder. He pointed to a tall tower that spiralled towards the sky, capped by an open circle of pillars.
“That’s where I live. I share a floor with four of my older brothers.”
“I always imagined you all slept on the ground like the rest of us”
“It’s definitely more comfortable than the ground, I should show it to you sometime. Come on. I bet you’re curious why I brought you up here.”
Eosphoros took my hand and led me to the divan. When I perched on the end he began to chuckle.
“You’ve never lounged before have you?”
I just looked at him blankly. He laughed again and held out his arms.
I nodded for him to proceed. He cradled my neck in one hand and lifted my legs with the other. Only when his warm hands touched my skin did I notice how cool the night air was.
“You’re supposed to lie back and lean on the cushions like this”
Eosphoros explained as he lay my head back against the cushions.
“It’s very comfortable you know”
“You seem to be obsessed with comfort”
I joked. I found Eosphoros’ light mood contagious. He laughed back, to hear a genuine laugh was like music to my ears. Where I was lying back on the divan I had a view of the full moon, casting a pale light on the roof.
“What did you want to show me?”
I asked. Eosphoros stepped backwards. Where he stood made it look like his head was surrounded by the moon. The moonlight glinted from the silver pins and belt holding his chiton. The small sparks of reflected silver light seemed to dance around him with every step.
“Has Astraea told you about me before?”
“The first time I saw you was face down”
I teased. He laughed lightly.
“Not my finest moment. Four of my brothers and I call ourselves the Astra Planeta. We help our grandfather regulate the orbits of the planets and stars in the sky. We each have a particular planet assigned to us.”
“Interesting, and the relevance?”
“It means I can manipulate the gravitational forces from planets and stars outside our own. It’s how I’m able to levitate and do other things”
Eosphoros explained. When he finished talking he closed his eyes and lifted his arms. I stared in wonder as the stars in the sky shone like fireworks. The night sky was illuminated with different colours as different stars flared to life and faded away. Eosphoros began to dance in time with the light. His arms swept in wide movements in front of him and his feet glided lightly across the wet floor. The movements began slowly but as the dance went on his pace became faster, and the stars brighter. As the dance reached its peak it was as if as if the light was carrying him through the powerful movements and high leaps. I’d never seen anything like it before, all I could do was watch. Even though there was no music, I could feel a distinct rhythm in the vibrations of light and gravity in the air. Towards the end of the routine he stood straight and clapped his hands high above his head. At that moment one of the stars shone as bright as the sun, bathing the entire roof in a red-pink light. He walked back to me and took my hand.
“It’s not as fun alone”
Eosphoros encouraged, his hazel eyes beckoning me to stand.
“But I haven’t……….. I don’t think I……….”
I stammered as he pulled me up from the cushions. I couldn’t possibly do what he could.
“Just feel yourself move. Lose yourself in the moment. It seems like you could benefit from letting go a bit more.”
Eosphoros said as he let go of me. He began to walk around me in a slow circle, stepping in time with the light show that pulsed around us.
“Step in time to their waxes and wanes, feel their gravity pulling you into their rhythm.”
Eosphoros urged. Slowly I started to walk opposite him, the two of us moving in an endless circle.
“That’s it. You may not know but your body does”
Feeling more confident at his encouragement, I twirled as I moved. He smiled and returned with a sweep of his arms. As we continued to trade moves, mine were more basic, the circle between us became smaller and smaller. Feeling the vibration of the air around me, I let the rhythm take over. It was the most exhilarated I had ever felt. The synergy of our movements and the starlight on my skin electrified my senses. I didn’t know how long we had been dancing. It could have been minutes, hours, or years. Eventually my legs and arms began to ache and I found it hard to keep up. I tripped on my own feet and Eosphoros caught me. As he held me it occurred to me that no-one had ever been this close to me before.
He asked. As he looked into my eyes I knew no matter how much time would pass I would never forget this moment.
“I just need more practice, I guess”
I said breathlessly. As we returned to the divan the lights of the stars faded back to normal. I could see the sweat glistening off his skin.
“I didn’t think you could do anything like that”
I said as we sat down together.
“You should see my grandfather. He could re-arrange the entire night sky if he wanted. Most of the time we only use our abilities to assist his, not much of a job but someone has to do it.”
“Better than none at all”
My statement had weighed down the light mood, the exhilaration of the dance beginning to fade. Eosphoros was taken aback by my statement and was silent for a moment, carefully picking out what to say next.
“You can’t say that. Mortals are an exception. You’re meant to be able to live your lives as you wish. Trust me it’s much harder to find purpose in someone else’s shadow.”
He said carefully. He was starting to sound like Astraea now, he even looked at me like she did. Which only made my mood worsen. Did every titan have this same speech drilled into them?
“What would we have to show for an entire lifetime? I watch them every day. None of them care about each other. I can feel deep down that there is something wrong with the way they react to world. The worst thing is I’m the only one who sees us for what we are. There is a land full of people and all I have felt is loneliness”
I never expected to be so open and tell him so much. My disappointment at being ignored, by the people who were supposed to answer my questions, returned in full force. I avoided looking Eosphoros in the eye. I had enjoyed my time with him and, for reasons I couldn’t understand, I knew the curious looks would feel worse coming from him. I didn’t want to see pity in those hazel eyes. I was shocked when he knelt in front of me and took my hands in his.
“You’re not alone Callidora. Just because you can’t see it now doesn’t mean the companionship isn’t there”
I was stunned by his answer. There was no pity, no curious tone as if I were some anomaly. He looked at me as if I were the only other person in existence.
“Trust me. All you have seen is a small piece of a much larger world. One that is here to provide for you. It takes time to get to know people. If you ever feel lonely remember you have me now.”
I smiled and Eosphoros smiled back. I yawned loudly, the moment broken. He looked to the horizon. The dawning sun caused the rain in his hair to glitter slightly, a reflection of the night sky that was now fading away.
“The suns already beginning to dawn. No wonder you’re tired”
“I guess I should find Astraea so she can take me back home”
I yawned again and it became difficult to keep my eyes open.
“Come on I’ll take you”
I felt my heart beat faster again as he lifted me from the divan and carried me down the stairs. As he made his way down I leaned my head into his chest and fell asleep.
Astraea waited outside the room while Eurybia and Iris talked.
The goddess muttered to herself. She had already been waiting hours. Her first opportunity to make her point about the mortals had been scuppered. Astraea knew if she could just get her grandmother to listen than may be she could be taken seriously. Bored of listening to their muffled voices, she pushed herself off the window frame and turned to look out onto the palace. Astraea looked up at the sky and saw the stars flaring to life.
“Great, looks like Eosphoros left Callidora behind.”
Astraea said as she watched the lights die away. The particular star attributed to Eosphoros shone a bright red-pink above her. Astraea let her mind drift and fantasised about how her performance as custodian might be celebrated. She turned at the sound of the door opening as Iris and Eurybia entered the hallway. Eurybia looked solemn as she turned to Iris.
“Thank you. I will get there as fast as I can, am I the last to receive the message?”
“No, the first. But it will not take long to reach all of the queen’s sisters, especially now the storm has died down.”
“Rest assured this meeting will remain between us. It is best you get back on your way as soon as you can.”
Iris bowed and walked down the corridor, turning the corner and out of sight. Astraea approached Eurybia eager to talk about Callidora.
“I’m sorry Astraea I have something urgent. I must prepare to travel and I will be leaving after breakfast. You will have to return another day”
Eurybia apologised as she moved past. Astraea frowned, she could not afford to lose this opportunity to make her mark as custodian.
“But wait I....”
Eurybia lifted her hand to silence her granddaughter.
“There are things bigger than this Astraea. You have to understand that.”
She interrupted with finality, walking swiftly to the end of the corridor. Frustrated, Astraea resorted to shouting.
“But I’ve been waiting ages. Do you at least believe me now?!”
The question echoed down the corridor. Eurybia hesitated before turning the corner. She only nodded once and disappeared.
“Return another day”
Astraea heard the echo back. Satisfied, she went in search of Callidora. The pale light of the rising sun beginning to illuminate the corridors as she made her way to the roof. If she was going to be wandering around the palace for hours her irresponsible brother could at least help her. Her time was precious and couldn’t be wasted with extra work his mistakes generated. Whilst thinking of a few choice words to say to her brother, she turned a corner and almost bumped into Eosphoros.
“I was just looking for you. Where have you left her? You know there are more important things than........”
Astraea began until she was interrupted by Eosphoros putting a finger to his lips, gesturing her to be quiet. Astraea scowled back. He could have a tendency to be childish and she didn’t want to push him into not telling her where he had left Callidora.
“I don’t care if you’ve picked someone up I just want to know where Callidora is”
Astraea lectured in a hushed tone. Eosphoros just rolled his eyes and walked past her, which sent stoked her annoyance into anger. She grabbed the back of his chiton and noticed a head of auburn hair by his shoulder. She looked down at Callidora asleep in his arms and then at Eosphoros.
This raised a multitude of other issues. She went to open her mouth when he put a finger to his lips again. Shaking her hand off, he walked down the hall to the nearest door. She watched him go into one of the bedrooms and gently place Callidora down onto the bed, tenderly covering her with the sheets. When Callidora was comfortably in the bed he walked out and silently shut the door behind him.
“Are you insane?!?!”
Astraea blurted out as soon as the door was shut.
“What did I do?”
Eosphoros feigned ignorance.
“You know exactly what I mean it’s not the first time I’ve seen that light show. It was fortunate I found the two of you before you reached the room”
“That’s not fair I had no intentions”
Eosphoros replied. Astraea snorted.
“From what I’ve heard from the nymphs I wouldn’t put it past you. She is a mortal Eosphoros you know it’s forbidden”
“Like I said nothing was going to happen. We talked. She seems friendly, that’s it.”
Eosphoros said dismissively. He went to walk past but Astraea grabbed his arm as he was about to leave.
Astraea asked as she stared him down. He avoided eye contact, his face turned a slight shade of red.
Astraea said, stunned when she realised why her brother was being defensive
“Don’t look at me like that, aren’t you always advocating spending more time with them? Or were you just saying those things to impress grandfather?”
“They won’t be happy if you let yourself feel too deeply for them.”
Astraea said, not wanting to admit her own misgivings.
“Did I say I was?”
“You have to push these thoughts from your mind. Now”
Astraea insisted. Eosphoros remained silent.
“This is wrong you can’t see her again”
“You spend all your time with them, I thought you would like the idea”
“I- I wouldn’t have an issue with it. But there are others who will.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You just have to understand that I know better. We can’t risk this growing into something dangerous”
“Don’t get superior with me. Dangerous? More like jealous. You don’t like someone else getting to know a mortal better than you”
“Please listen. It’s because she’s mortal. It’s like oil and water, we can coexist but never mix.”
“Watch it. You're starting to sound like mother. At least I don’t use them as distraction until I find a husband.”
Eosphoros replied with a petulant tone. She slapped him across the face. His eyes tearing, Eosphoros levitated and flew from the corridor before she could say anything else. Breathing slowly to calm herself, Astraea quietly opened the door and slipped into the room. It was one of the smaller guest rooms with just the bed, a divan, and a small chest. Astraea sat back on the divan, watching over Callidora as she slept soundly. Astraea cast Eosphoros’ words from her mind, he was just jealous of her ambition. But it still didn’t reassure her enough to let her sleep.